Race organizers say about 4,500 athletes are set to compete in this weekend's San Luis Obispo Marathon and Half-Marathon, which besides the titular events, will also include a 5K, a children’s quarter-mile dash and children’s marathon.
Event director Heather Hellman said this year’s competitions, set to take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will have roughly the same number of participants as last year, but the group is adding more events and vendors than the past two years.
“There’s going to be a lot of things going on,” Hellman said. “We especially have a lot more local vendors this year (than last).”
The weekend’s big events, the 26.2-mile marathon and 13.1-mile half-marathon, will take runners through San Luis Obispo on Sunday, starting at San Luis Obispo High School and into Edna Valley, before ending at the Madonna Inn.
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Hellman said 820 people have signed up for the marathon and 2,700 for the half-marathon, including San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx and Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong. Late registrations will be accepted until today.
Other events include a 5K race and a children’s quarter-mile dash, both set to take place today at the Marathon Expo.
New this year will be the Children’s Marathon Challenge, also at the Marathon Expo, in which participants between the ages of 7 and 14 will run one mile Saturday, completing a multi-week progressive marathon that totals 25 miles.
“It’s a new program for us,” Hellman said. “But it’s great. It’s really a program to help children get running and active.”
Besides race organizers Get Off the Couch Potato Sports Productions and LeftLane Sports, sponsors for the annual event (now in its third year) include Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ; San Luis Sourdough; Central Coast Gymnastics, which will provide on-site gymnastics lessons; Kreuzberg CA, which will have a coffee cart at the Marathon Expo; and TekTegrity, which will run a “Tek Café” on Sunday where race watchers can view the event’s live Twitter feed and runner updates.
Several roads will be closed to through traffic at 5 a.m. on Sunday because of the races, including Orcutt Road, Tiffany Ranch Road and Corbett Canyon Road. All roads will reopen by 1 p.m. Johnson Avenue drivers will have restricted access from San Luis Drive to Orcutt Road between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Drivers should also expect delays along Price Canyon Road from Pismo Beach and Highway 227 between Buckley Road and Noyes Road.
For a complete list of road closures, visit www.slomarathon.com.